'A' Division Boys Semi-finals 2015 @ ex-MOE Co-Curricular Activities Branch (PESEB). Everyone held their breath at the moment of stand-off between Dunman High School’s Open Spiker No. 12 Jian Kai and three of Victoria Junior College’s Blockers. (All Photos credit: Goh Shu Hui Gina)
The competition between Dunman High School and Victoria Junior College, like most other semi-final matches, was an exciting one. The first match was a close fight. During the first match, it seemed as if both teams were unwilling to give the opponents any chance of scoring. However, despite DHS changing its players twice, the first match ended with a score of 25:21. While trying to save a first ball during match point, DHS panicked and hit the ball out of court instead. This won VJC their first set.
During the second match, both teams started to make some mistakes on their part. DHS was unprepared for many drop balls from VJC, while VJC mainly lost a couple of points due to mistakes in service such as serving out of court or that they did not manage to serve the ball over the net. The match ended with 25:17 with VJC leading. However, DHS should be commended for the effort they made during the match point. DHS No. 2 Zhewei actually gave a good spike in an attempt to help his team score a point, but VJC, being high on alert, had three blockers jumping simultaneously, blocking off DHS No. 2 Zhewei ’s ball, thus earning VJC the last point of set two.
DHS Player No. 1 had switched on his defensive mode, and was all ready to receive any ball from VJC.
In the third match, VJC began the game with a service. DHS Player No. 12 Jian Kai eventually returned a spike, winning DHS the first point of the match. This did not last long as during the second point, one of the players from DHS accidentally touched the net, resulting in VJC earning a point and a change in possession of ball. Following that point, VJC hit out a ball, but DHS happened to have touched the ball and did not manage to get the ball across to VJC, causing VJC to gain a point instead.
At 2:2, No. 1 Maguire of VJC tried to drop ball, but having learnt from the mistakes made during the second round, No. 1 Lincoln of DHS reacted quickly and returned back a drop ball to VJC, catching VJC unexpected. This earned DHS a point, with a score of 2:3.
VJC’s Players No. 1 Maguire and No. 13 Kiat Hwee jumped simultaneously and gave all their might in blocking the spike sent across by DHS’s Player No. 2. Zhewei.
The game continued at a fast pace. There was a point whereby No. 5 Timothy of DHS did not manage to spike properly, but with some luck, the ball rolled over right across the top of the net. VJC did not manage to save the ball. At 3:5, DHS No. 1 Lincoln sent a swift, forceful spike down to VJC’s court, winning DHS yet another point. A time-out was called at 5:10.
During VJC’s service, VJC’s No. 1 Maguire gave a good jump serve. Initially, DHS did not manage to save the first ball nicely to the setter. But the setter managed to set up an attack for DHS No. 12 Jiankai, who spiked hard and scored a point for DHS. It was a close shave. The following point was lost when No. 1 Lincoln of DHS served an out ball.
One of the best moments would be when VJC No. 13 Kiat Hwee jumped high and pressed down a ball forcefully with both hands stretched across the net. DHS did not manage to save this ball. The score was now 11:13, in which a time-out was also called for.
As the two teams hydrate themselves, their respective coaches gave them advices to avoid any possible mistakes on court. Looking lethargic yet still having a strong spirit of perseverance and the desire to win, both teams returned to court in their respective positions, now rested and prepared for what was to come. DHS was now leading by two points with VJC following closely behind.
Soon after, VJC caught up with DHS and overtook DHS. This was probably due to DHS Setter No. 17 Gary not performing well, in which the he did not set a couple of balls properly for his open spikers and middle blockers. The balls were either set too near to the net or too far out for the open spiker. Another time-out was called at 18:14. DHS was slowly losing the winning momentum. Will DHS be able to catch up with VJC in time?
DHS would go all out to defend their team and prevent any ball from touching the ground.
The intense game proceeded on. No. 1 Maguire of VJC sent a spike down at DHS, but this attack got blocked off by DHS’s No. 17 Gary, earning DHS a point. At 21:16, DHS’s setter set a ball a distance away from the net, allowing DHS’s No. 12 Jian Kai to jump and volley a steep spike down towards VJC’s court. This attack earned DHS another point.
VJC did not let their guard off. No. 12 Jian Kai of DHS attempted twice in spiking the ball across, but at both times, the spikes got blocked off with the teamwork of the two VJC’s Blockers. But at 23:19, DHS’s No. 1 Lincoln managed to spike the ball across and scored. At 24:19, No. 9 of VJC served the ball, but eventually, the spiker of VJC spiked out a ball. Both teams have now reached the digit ‘2’ in their scores. There was no way DHS was going to give up even though VJC had already reached match point. With this, No. 8 Marcus of DHS served the ball. The service almost did not make it across the net, but precisely this, the ball merely rolled over, catching VJC unexpected and thus DHS scored another point. DHS earned the subsequent point when the two VJC Blockers tried to block off a ball from DHS’s attack, but the ball flew out of court from the impact of the blocking. The score was now 24:22. DHS was slowly catching up.
One of the greatest moments of the match was when VJC’s Players No. 7 and 13 jumped high and stretched their arms across the net, pressing the ball down forcefully with both hands in an attempt to tackle the spike sent to them.
But luck was not on DHS’ side. DHS lost the last point when the setter of DHS did not manage to set the ball over the net despite the team managing to save the first ball. The game thus concluded with VJC as the winner at a score of 25:22. Good effort to DHS’s volleyball team and congratulations to the volleyball boys from VJC!
Although both teams seemed to be almost on par with each other, DHS’s slips of mistakes, especially the inability to cope with drop balls, was probably the cause of their downfall. As in all volleyball competitions, there is bound to be a team which will emerge as the winner. But no matter what, both the DHS’s and VJC’s teams have definitely trained and fought hard. Both teams definitely deserve commendation and a good rest.
With this, Dunman High School will be playing against Nanyang Junior College this coming Friday, 8th May 2015, at the ex-MOE Co-Curricular Activities Branch (PESEB) to compete for the 3rd and 4th placing. Victoria Junior College will play against Hwa Chong Institution in the Finals on 13th May 2015, next Wednesday, at Yio Chu Kang Indoor Sports Hall. Do come down and support the teams and hope to see you there!
Results for National Schools Championship 2015 'A' Div Boys Semi-finals:
Dunman High School (DHS) vs Victoria Junior College (VJC) (0-3)
1st Set 21-25
2nd Set 17-25
3rd Set 22-25
Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) vs Nanyang Junior College (NYJC) (3-1)
1st Set 21-25
2nd Set 26-24
3rd Set 25-17
4th Set 25-21